What is a home, really? It’s so much more than a front door and sheetrock. It represents a family’s hopes, their dreams and their hard work – both in that moment and for generations to come. A home is definitely something to honor, appreciate and celebrate.
In October, St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity showcased this power at the annual Unlock the Dream event. The 2021 event was held at the Timber Creek Event Center and offered the perfect setting for a creative “Destination: A Trip Around The World” theme. Tables with globally-themed flags, cultural items and themed food and beverages gave guests a passport experience as they mingled and connected with fellow Habitat supporters.
Executive Director Shay Homeyer said the event met the fundraising goal, but also brought the community together for a shared experience of the overall impact St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity has on the region. “Our work in building and revitalizing homes and neighborhoods is visible. We build hope while transforming lives and this is felt throughout the community, from our homeowners and across all our volunteers,” said Homeyer. “Together, we are able to work side by side with families to make their dreams come true and to see how their commitment, their goals and their hard work keeps that dream sustainable and helps stabilize our region.”
Offering plenty of twinkling white lights, an outdoor market, dozens of silent auction items and local band favorite Soca Jukebox, an on-site pet adoption event (in partnership with the St. Joseph Animal Shelter) added to the setting. A video featuring local Habitat homeowners helped make the experience even more personal, sharing their stories of what opening the door to homeownership has meant to them.
Comments included “A memory that stuck out the most is when I closed on my house. It was a life-changing experience for me and my daughter because it meant a forever home to raise her in,” and, “I never thought of myself as a homeowner. As a single mother, I thought I would be in apartment living for the rest of my life. I can’t explain how amazing the experience of becoming a Habitat homeowner has been, and how many ways it has helped.”
Guests were also reminded of the impact of their support, across every level of the St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity program. Donations help support the ongoing costs of home building projects, making neighborhood stabilization and community revitalization an ongoing reality. ReStore donations help provide a space to extend that reach through sales of gently-used items. (In fact, St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity will pick up items by request, at no charge, or help deliver items purchased in the ReStore).
St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity is part of a global nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes – and this includes working with families through an in-depth application process. Participants commit to working alongside the Habitat team for their build. They also commit to long-term employment, among other factors, to maintain full sustainability.
Whether it’s a trip around the world event or a home build work day in the St. Joseph zip code, the Habitat for Humanity mission and purpose remains clear and focused. This week, we tip our mugs to that at SJC and invite you to do the same as you step across your own front door.